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Is Lean Mean?

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Anderson-Connolly

    (University of Puget Sound, USA raconnolly@ups.edu)

  • Leon Grunberg

    (University of Puget Sound, USA)

  • Edward S. Greenberg

    (University of Colorado-Boulder, USA)

  • Sarah Moore

    (University of Puget Sound, USA)

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between workplace transformation (or restructuring) and the well-being of employees, in terms of both psychological and physical health, at a large manufacturing corporation in the United States. While the previous literature has been largely divided over the issue - some researchers providing unqualified enthusiasm and others equally strong criticism of workplace changes - we found, after decomposing workplace transformation into five distinct dimensions of intensity, autonomy, team-work, skilling and computing, that certain components were harmful while others were beneficial to the employees. Furthermore, some effects of reengineering varied between managers and non-managers. Overall, increases in workplace intensity were associated with the largest increases in stress and symptoms of poor health. The data were produced by a longitudinal (two-wave) survey questionnaire of over 1000 employees and were analyzed by means of a structural equations model.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Anderson-Connolly & Leon Grunberg & Edward S. Greenberg & Sarah Moore, 2002. "Is Lean Mean?," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 16(3), pages 389-413, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:woemps:v:16:y:2002:i:3:p:389-413
    DOI: 10.1177/095001702762217407
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Ferrie, J.E. & Shipley, M.J. & Marmot, M.G. & Stansfeld, S.A. & Smith, G.D., 1998. "An uncertain future: The health effects of threats to employment security in white-collar men and women," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 88(7), pages 1030-1036.
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    6. Batt, R. & Applebaum, E., 1995. "Worker Participation in Diverse Settings: Does the Form Affect the Outcome, and If So, Who Benefits?," Papers 95-06, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
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